Babies got this ‘baby steps’ figured out: on their way to their first steps, they initially find themselves falling down… but they get up and try again… and again. Then, something clicks in their brains, they experience their first successful steps — a series of steps without falling down going from dad’s arms to mom’s arms… smiling and happy! With that seemingly small win, encouraged, babies go on further with casual walking, then faster walking… then running.
Toastmasters (TM) International have ‘The Ice Breaker’ speech category created for their first-time TM speakers. That is their (the first-time TM speakers’) ‘baby step’ — the one that will catapult them to wherever they envisioned themselves to be as speakers.
My son and daughter learned how to ride their bikes by focusing only on learning how to balance….sliding down a mildly sloped pavement …without pedaling. After several tries, something clicked in their brains… they started balancing…they had their first ‘baby steps’.
The same with struggling / challenged members of an agile team. They might be facing a ‘barrier’ … they need something to get around this ‘barrier’ and get them moving forward towards their goals. You can apply this ‘baby step’ approach to get them going — shaping them into a high-performing team! Let’s explore some struggles/scenarios:
Scenario #1: Some team members are just not motivated to change. Perhaps the ‘bar’ is too high… and everything seems complicated? Complexity is the enemy of execution! Complexity and high ‘bars’ lead to dread! Consider lowering the ‘bar’… make things simple … start with small ‘baby steps’ towards your goal… this might help overcome dread (great fear or apprehension)!
Scenario #2: Some team members say “This will never ever work!”. Take baby steps — find those small victories…small proofs that it works.
Change is hard…but it is not impossible. The barriers could be: 1) about how you ‘think’ about things (over planning, over thinking, over rationalization perhaps?); 2) about how you ‘feel’ about things (lack of motivation, you are not feeling it); 3) about your environment (yes, your environment partly defines you; however, you can shape/influence it). These types of barriers can be overcome with ‘baby steps’… small enough to keep things moving forward towards your goal…find those small ‘baby steps’ and just do it! Remember Lean-startup and MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?
Check this out, funny baby steps scene — from Richard Dreyfuss and Bill Murray’s film, “What about Bob?“.
Indeed, just like Bill Murray’s character, Bob Wiley, you can ‘baby step’ your way to successful transformation… and transform others along the way — just like the unintended transformation of Richard Dreyfuss’ character, Dr. Leo Marvin.
Baby step… baby step… one little step at a time…and you can do anything!